Gina Villalobos 'Sola' - Pony Farm

Villalobos is always an interesting singer/songwriter who has released four previous albums. This 7 track mini-album follows a four year break during which she felt herself lacking the energy, creativity and motivation to make new music. Thankfully, at the end of this period she found her mojo again. Taking charge of production, Villalobos gathers together an accomplished and experienced band that includes Eric Heywood on pedal steel, an instrument used here to underline the poignancy of many of the songs.

Sola means alone,  but here it is a state of mind rather than a musical direction as the five players bring much to the songs. There is a depth of latent anguish that give many of these songs their wounded edge. The music matches that sense of quiet desperation and ideally suits their sentiments. Songs like Come Undone (Interstate Ache), Everything I Want and Tears Gone By lyrically deal with hurt, but do so with an aching beauty. Villalobos has been compared with Lucinda Williams and both are unwilling to make compromises in their music and both have created their music from a country rock vein filtered through individual viewpoint.

Villalobos has the courage to face up to her vulnerability in these songs and while the result can not be classified as an easy listen, it is one that is a both rewarding and a recuperative experience. The songs impel one to realise that life may not be easy, but there are many out there who are facing up to what life has placed in their path. Gina Villalobos has opened her heart and this music reveals the possibilities that are out there and does so over seven memorable performances from band and singer